The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) lands, waters, and facilities that it manages are vulnerable to biological invasions and can in turn be pathways and sources for invasive species introductions to both public and private land. Species such as cheatgrass, quagga and zebra mussels, Asian carp, Burmese python, and many other invasive species have far-reaching impacts on DOI’s diverse mission—from securing water delivery and conserving native biodiversity to protecting cultural heritage and supporting sustainable energy development, grazing, and timber harvesting.
Coordination and collaboration across jurisdictions are crucial to a strategic approach to stem the spread of invasive species. To that end, the Office of Policy Analysis (PPA) coordinates invasive species policy, planning, and program activities that cross Interior’s Bureaus and Offices. PPA leads Department-wide invasive species strategies, facilitates the development and implementation of Department invasive species action plans, and coordinates the Department’s Invasive Species Task Force, a leadership body comprised of Bureau and Office representatives. Examples of focus areas include invasive species policy; preparedness and response; economic impact analyses; database interoperability; performance indicators; joint budget proposals; and communications.
PPA also leads Department-wide invasive species initiatives requested by Congress or the Administration. For example, PPA co-led the development of the interdepartmental report, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016). In addition, PPA serves as the Department’s policy liaison to the National Invasive Species Council and serves as the Department’s invasive species point-of-contact for Interior’s Bureaus and Offices, and for other Federal Departments and stakeholders.